Chasing Large Cobia.
I get asked a lot on how I catch Cobia, and there are lots of different ways but here I will tell you my way to catch them off the Gold Coast.
The hardest part about fishing for Cobia is finding them! Once you have located a spot where cobia feed it is fairly easy to hook them but landing a large cobia is another story! The amount I have seen lost at the boat is ridiculous.
Where To Locate Them.
Every winter here in south east Queensland the whales migrate to warmer waters to give birth and now is the time of year to start hunting the large cobia. I know you can catch them all year round here but the larger models show up at this time of year. First of all cobia love structure so in Moreton Bay the best place to find them is around the channel markers and if you live down on the coast like me I tend to fish the wrecks a lot at night. Yes you heard me I said night time, I tend to find the large models at night and I am talking about fish 30kg +.
Down To Business!!!
When I am serious about chasing cobia I grab my jigging outfits, One is a Shimano Ocea Jigger spooled with 15kg coloured braid and I use this one to floatline a livebait and the second outfit is a Saltiga spooled with 24kg coloured
braid and this is my bottom bait, and even though these are very powerful outfits some nights I still feel well undergunned. Now that have I worked out where I am going and what gear I am going to use it is now time to head to the spot to make sure there is bait there before it gets dark. After catching a heap of live baits its time to rig up and put the first baits down before the sun sets.
On the Saltiga I have a running sinker rig which is made up of usually a size 8 or larger ball sinker depending on current (you want the bait to stay around 1 metre off the bottom) with a good swivel and a two foot 80lb
trace with snelled 6/0 to 10/0 octopus hooks, match the hooks to the size of the bait you are using.
On the Shimano Ocea I use a 3 metre 80lb trace with a small ball (size 1 to 3) depending on current sitting straight on top of snelled hooks, size depending on the bait you are using. This is just a basic heavy duty floatlining rig.
Time To Start Hunting!
First drop your biggest rod to the bottom and then wind up around a metre and put your rod in the rod holder in gear BUT MAKE SURE THE DRAG ISNT LOCKED! Have just enough to set the hooks without breaking the rod. The reason I wind the bait up off the bottom is that the livie will swim into the wreck or reef to look for cover and snag you in the process. Before we get to the second rod, check your sounder to see what depth you are fishing and then turn it off.
I use coloured braid for a reason! With the second rod let your lightly weighted live bait swim around freely BUT only let out half the depth as you do not want the livie swimming straight to the bottom and snagging you.
Now you have two baits down its time to rug up and wait as it is cold offshore at this time of year.
Baits I Use.
Cobia will respond to alot of different baits as long as they are fresh.
My favorite baits are..
Whole fresh SandCrabs
Live Silver Trevally
and Live Tailor.
Landing A Large Cobia.
If you are serious about catching a large Cobia really think about taking a friend who is a good gaff shot and have two sturdy gaffs on board. I have seen so many fish lost to gaffing.
When using Sand Crabs put a rubber band around their shell to connect the hook to and floatline the crab for best results. This is a very slow boring way of fish for Cobia as there is no bycatch! If the Crab gets eatan it will be a Cobia.
If there are no wrecks where you fish just fish around reefs that constantly holds bait.
If you are fishing off the southern Gold Coast try fishing a place called D-Cell, this is a great Cobia spot.
When using large live baits like Trevally and Tailor take a pair of scissors and snip the tails down so the baits won't tow the sinker all over the ocean and tangle the other rods.
Good Luck and happy hunting.